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TTC CEO Andy Byford delivers a video apology to system users on March 19, 2013, for serious service problems on the subway the previous night. (TTC/Youtube.com)
TTC CEO Andy Byford delivers a video apology to system users on March 19, 2013, for serious service problems on the subway the previous night. (TTC/Youtube.com)

TTC chief says ‘I’m sorry’ on YouTube for service problems Add to ...

TTC chief Andy Byford has offered his personal apology for a series of subway problems that added up to a “frustrating” ride home for many passengers Monday evening.

Mr. Byford has participated in a number of online videos explaining aspects of the transit, but this is the first time he used the chance to offer a mea culpa for what he admitted was “poor service.”

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He said that the delays were the result of a series of problems. Among them: A staff member inexplicably opened the doors of a stopped train while part of it was in the tunnel around Dupont station, an incident photographed and posted on Twitter by some passengers.

“Clearly we’re looking into how that could have happened,” Mr. Byford said in the video posted online.

Heads of the TTC have earlier offered explanations and apologies through the public address system, agency spokesman Brad Ross said, but this is the first time one has addressed the public directly like this.

Mr. Byford cited the launch two weeks ago of the customer charter and acknowledged that events such as were seen Monday fall short of what it promises.

“Key to that improvement is increased reliability and punctuality of the service,” he said in the video, which was shot on the platform at Bloor station. “Clearly we didn’t meet that objective last night.”

He explained that the door issue followed on the heels of other incidents, including a series of passenger assistance alarms in quick succession and a pair of fire alerts at Eglinton and Keele stations.

The TTC had said Monday that the fire alerts, which resulted in service being halted for 10 to 15 minutes each, were the result of smoke at track level.

The transit service has repeatedly warned that debris can cause fires and they have launched anti-littering efforts to encourage passengers not to leave garbage. In spite of the campaign, track-level smoke remains a recurring problem, with multiple incidents reported Monday, only two of which were implicated in the rush-hour problems.

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